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Lermit Road GCB owned by Dennis Lee’s son for sale at $105 mil

The GCB at Lermit Road is located in the exclusive Cluny Park Good Class Bungalow Area near Singapore Botanic Gardens (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Nestled within the prestigious Cluny Park Good Class Bungalow Area is Lermit Road, a quiet street bounded by Cluny Road and Nassim Road and a short walk from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Lermit Road has just 14 Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) along the street, and many of these are owned by the Who's Who in Singapore, according to Tan Hong Boon, JLL Singapore's executive director of capital markets.

On the market for sale by expression of interest (EOI) is the GCB at 4A Lermit Road, located at the end of a cul-de-sac. From the street, the gates open to a private driveway to the main residence draped in greenery.


Read also: Bungalow prices in prime districts up 6.7% in 2023, even as transactions tumble

The two-storey detached house was built in 1995 (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

The house was built in 1995. The property comes with an organic-shaped swimming pool, an aviary, a sizeable lawn and a house with full-height glass windows to enjoy an unblocked view of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Tan estimates that the basement garage and driveway can accommodate up to 15 cars.

According to a property title search, the GCB belongs to Lee Howe Yong, who passed away last November. He was the son of the late Dennis Lee Kim Yew, the founding partner of the law firm Lee & Lee and younger brother of Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Dennis Lee's wife, Gloria Lee, founded the stock brokerage firm Kim Eng Holdings in 1972. Kim Eng was sold to Malaysia's Maybank for $1.789 billion in 2011. Gloria Lee passed away last September at the age of 97.

The long driveway and garage can park up to 15 cars (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Based on caveats lodged in the Cluny Good Class Bungalow Area in prime District 10, there have only been three GCB transactions on Lermit Road since records began in January 1995, two of which were for 4 Lermit Road, next door to the GCB for sale.

The last GCB transaction in the enclave was for the property at 4 Lermit Road, which changed hands for just under $34.75 million ($2,000 psf) in December 2020. The property at 4 Lermit Road occupies a land area of 17,374 sq ft. Prior to that, it was sold for $28.3 million ($1,629 psf) in December 2017.

In 2010, the GCB at 1 Lermit Road, which sat on an 8,496 sq ft freehold site, changed hands for $12.3 million ($1,448 psf). That was the first recorded transaction on Lermit Road based on caveats lodged with URA Realis.

Read also: Straits Trading offers investors fractional investment opportunities in GCB, prime condo unit

The organic-shaped swimming pool with a view towards Singapore Botanic Gardens (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

However, many of the GCBs in the Lermit Road, Cluny Road and Nassim Road neighbourhoods have been subdivided and redeveloped into smaller plots, says JLL’s Tan. "Very few plots have sizes of 30,000 sq ft or larger.”

4A Lermit Road sits on a sprawling 29,818 sq ft freehold site. Hence, the property has a guide price of $105 million ($3,521 psf).

The latest transaction in the vicinity is the three bungalows at 42, 42A and 42B Nassim Road, which were sold by Cuscaden Peak (former Singapore Press Holdings) in April 2023 for $206.7 million ($4,500 psf). The buyers were members of the Fangiono family, who control Singapore-listed palm oil company First Resources. The three bungalows have a land area of about 15,000 sq ft each.

The property sits on a freehold site of 29,818 sq ft and has a sizeable lawn (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

The existing bungalow at 4A Lermit Road has its own charm, given the ivy creepers and greenery covering the façade. The new owner could renovate the current property, reconfigure the interiors or tear down and rebuild. Tan estimates construction costs for GCBs today to be in the $800 to $1,000 psf range.

Last year, another agent had put the property on the market for sale by private treaty. The guide price indicated then was $137.2 million ($4,600 psf).

"It was a challenging economic landscape marked by high interest rates, escalating costs, and ongoing geopolitical tensions," says JLL's Tan. "Despite notable interest, market uncertainties tempered buyers' willingness to submit competitive offers."

Read also: Lermit Road GCB on the market for $137.2 mil

The property at Lermit Road sits on a freehold site of 29,818 sq ft in the Cluny Park Good Class Bungalow Area in prime District 10 (Source: EdgeProp Landlens)

The owner has decided to put the property on the market again, this time through JLL. The EOI exercise will close on Feb 22.

Besides the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Lermit Road property is close to the Gleneagles Hospital and Medical Centre, Dempsey Hill F&B enclave and the upcoming Napier MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. It is also a short drive to Orchard Road, the CBD and Marina Bay Sands.

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